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Credible deterrence against India compulsion: Pakistan
November 16, 2005 01:28 IST
Pakistan on Tuesday told the United States that maintaining credible deterrence against India was a "compulsion" for it even as it emphasised on the importance of settling the Kashmir issue for durable peace in the region. Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid M Kasuri told visiting US Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca during a meeting in Islamabad, "Given the South Asian security milieu, maintenance of minimum credible defence is a security compulsion for Pakistan," a foreign office statement said.
Kasuri discussed in detail the progress in the India-Pakistan composite dialogue process, which he said improved the general atmosphere between the two countries, while noting that a number of confidence building measures have been agreed to by both sides, it said. "However," he said, "for durable peace in the region, it is essential that efforts aimed at addressing the outstanding issues, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, are made to reach a settlement, which is acceptable to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan and India," according to the statement.
He also briefed Rocca on the deliberations of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Summit in Dhaka and its decision to admit Afghanistan as a new member and the grouping's welcoming in principle of requests by China and Japan to be associated with it as observers. Kasuri expressed appreciation for the support that Pakistan has received from the US government and its people in the quake relief and recovery efforts, including in the form of helicopters, medical staff and other assistance.